Closing a Racial Divide, One Swim Lesson at a Time
Front-crawling through the water during her swim lesson at Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx one recent Tuesday morning, Kiara García, now 8, hardly seemed to think she was doing anything unusual.
And she wasn’t, at least not anymore. While seven years ago 69 percent of black children and 58 percent of Latino children reported having little to no swimming ability, compared to 42 percent of white children, today that gap — while still significant — is shrinking, according to research commissioned by the USA Swimming Foundation.
More minority and low-income children are finding their way into the water. And in New York City, they are helped in part by a growing array of free lessons, such as those at Roberto Clemente. . .